HEARNE – The Richards Lady Panthers have battled a gloom beginning to the season. Players are forced to step into key roles vacated by season-ending injuries. Those players are developing quickly and helped lead the Panthers to a tournament championship in Hearne.
Alayna Francis led Richards with 24 kills, 20 serving aces and 10 assists. Abigail Bay had 15 kills and three blocks. Chesney Calhoun contributed with seven kills, five aces and a block. Caroline Pool had 30 assists.
The Lady Panthers began day one, Aug. 17, with a 2-0 win over Brazos Christian Team 2 (25-17, 25-15). Then they knocked off Hearne 2-0 (25-7, 25-4).
On Championship Saturday, Richards defeated North Zulch 2-1 (20-25, 25-15,15-8); Hempstead 2-1 (22-25, 25-14, 15-5); and Bryan Team 1, 2-0 (2515, 25-18).
The weekend before the Hearne tournament, Richards placed first in the silver bracket of the Navasota varsity tournament.
Richards played at Latexo Aug. 22 (results were not available at press time). The Lady Panthers will compete in the Rockdale tournament Aug. 24-26, and will travel to Kingwood Aug. 29, to face West Fork.